One of the impressive wildlife sanctuary in Kerala is Idukki sanctuary known for its dense forest area and great location. More than half of the Idukki area is covered by forests, due to which the population density is low. The district of Idukki is also known as the spice garden of the state. The Idukki wildlife sanctuary covers an area of nearly 106 square kilometers and spreads over the districts of Idukki, Thodupuzhu, and Udumpanchola. The forest is locked between the Periyar and Cheruthoni River. The scenic lake surrounding the sanctuary is beatified by deciduous and evergreen tropical trees and a boat ride there would provide you with an enchanting experience. The popular Idukki Arch dam lies adjacent to the wildlife sanctuary.
A good variety of wildlife is found inside the forest. Watching them openly in front of your eyes is a matter of luck; however, some animals are usually spotted such as elephants, snakes, wild boars, jungle dogs, bears, and bison. A commendable species of birds could be sighted there like fowls, woodpeckers, kingfishers, mynas, grey hornbills,s, etc.
Things to Explore
- Boating is one of the most romantic options you could do while visiting the sanctuary as this is one of the ways to spot wildlife. Many animals could be seen at the shore of the lake especially elephants as the lake are the only source of water for the animals. The cruise journey starts from Vellappara and enters the dam coverage. From there it goes to Noorupara towards Vairamani and then returns from there after one hour. The boating journey is ensured all safety parameters.
- Other than boating there is a trekking option through the grasslands where you can enjoy the view of the shoals, hills, and reservoir. You may also encounter wild animals as well as birds which would be a memorable experience for adventure seekers. The trekking route starts from Kuvalettom and definitely you would be provided a guide for your security. The job of a guide provides a livelihood to the locals and native people. The group of people going trekking must be 6 to 12 people. The route covers the places of Kuvalettom, Kallekkulum, Erattakkanam, and Vagvanam within a period of 3 hours.
- Idukki reserve is a less crowded place and it is best for you if you want tranquillity. Several attractions can be covered in one go. The Arch Dam remains open only during the holiday season and is loved by tourists. So try to reach the place earlier. The view of the two dams, Cheruthoni and Idukki is equally impressive from Hill Valley Park.
Where to stay
Thodupuzha is the best town in the region housing a few hotels to stay which is 40 km from the sanctuary. Munnar is also there to provide accommodation facilities at a distance of 50 km from the spot. Kattappana is another choice with limited lodging facilities which is 34 km away from the forest. Apart from these, there are cottages in the forest to stay which are 3 km from Cheruthoni and 2 km from Painavu. It is an awesome experience to stay in the wilderness, with a cool breeze listening to the song of the birds. There are two cottages with modern facilities, the package of which includes breakfast and dinner and trekking into the forest.
Best time to visit Idukki wildlife sanctuary
In fact, the sanctuary is open to visitors all around the year, but heavy rains can hinder your enjoyment as leeches are common disturbances in monsoon( from June to September). The temperature is very in the summer season, so better to avoid the months of March, April, and May. So the best time to visit is from December to early March. October and November is okay during the daytime.
How to go to Idukki wildlife sanctuary
The Idukki wildlife Sanctuary is situated at the heart of the Idukki district, and the roadway is the only mode of traveling there. The nearest airport is Cochin Airport and from there you need to take three hour drive to reach the spot. And the nearest railway station is Kottayam which is 87 km from Idukki and needs a drive of two and a half hours.
The Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area in the Indian state of Kerala, located in the Idukki district. The sanctuary is spread over an area of 77 sq. km and is known for its diverse wildlife species, including elephants, tigers, leopards, sambar, and gaur.
Visitors to the sanctuary can enjoy activities such as:
- Wildlife safari – Take a guided tour on jeep or elephant back to observe the animals in their natural habitat.
- Trekking – Explore the lush green forest and hills on foot, observing the diverse flora and fauna along the way.
- Bird Watching – The sanctuary is home to a large number of bird species, including the Great Indian Hornbill, making it a popular destination for birdwatchers.
- Picnic – Visitors can enjoy a picnic in the peaceful surroundings of the sanctuary, surrounded by nature.
- Boating – Enjoy a leisurely boat ride in the Periyar River, which flows through the sanctuary, to observe the diverse wildlife along the banks.
Visitors are advised to follow the rules and regulations set by the sanctuary authorities to ensure the protection of the wildlife and their habitat.
Here are some frequently asked questions about the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary:
When is the best time to visit the sanctuary?
The best time to visit the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is between the months of October and May when the weather is pleasant and wildlife is more active.
Is there any entrance fee to enter the sanctuary?
Yes, there is an entrance fee to enter the sanctuary, which is determined by the sanctuary authorities.
What kind of accommodation is available in the sanctuary?
There are various types of accommodations available in and around the sanctuary, including resorts, homestays, and lodges.
Is it safe to go on a wildlife safari in the sanctuary?
Wildlife safaris in the sanctuary are generally safe, but visitors should follow the guidelines and instructions provided by the sanctuary authorities to ensure their safety.
Are there any restrictions for photography in the sanctuary?
Yes, there may be restrictions on photography in some parts of the sanctuary to protect the wildlife and their habitat. Visitors should check with the sanctuary authorities for specific rules and regulations regarding photography.
Can one camp in the sanctuary?
Camping is not allowed within the sanctuary, but visitors can opt for camping options in the nearby areas.